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Name: seaecho
Phelan, Ca. (Zone 8b)
There is ALWAYS room for one more p
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seaecho
Dec 18, 2015 3:07 PM CST
My French Staghorn pictured below has a problem, but I don't know what it is. I got it about 6 months ago. It's finally growing a shield, which I guess is a good sign, but most of its leaves, as you can see, look droopy and sort of "beat up" for lack of a better term. Should I cut them off? It gets a couple hours of late afternoon sun (I read the Frenchies like more sun) and I only water it when its dry. I do mist it. It's in a west window, (about three feet back) so it gets bright light the rest of of the day. Any ideas? Second pic shows its shield.
Thumb of 2015-12-18/seaecho/84bdf8


Thumb of 2015-12-18/seaecho/bdbe25


Plantomaniac08
Dec 19, 2015 8:44 AM CST
I'm of the opinion not to cut a leaf off until it's dead (or at least yellowed). If there's still green left in the leaf, the plant is still using it to make food.
Name: Deborah Pryor
Orangeburg, SC Zone 8a (Zone 8a)
Don't Sweat the Small Stuff!
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Deebie
Dec 19, 2015 9:25 AM CST
I'm sure Ken, @Drdawg, can help you. He grows and sells lovely staghorn ferns among other tropicals.
Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]
Orchids Greenhouse Vegetable Grower Ferns Region: United States of America Hummingbirder
Composter Bromeliad Master Gardener: Mississippi Cat Lover Tropicals Plumerias
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drdawg
Dec 19, 2015 9:58 AM CST
Don't cut anything off, @seaecho. I am not quite sure what caused these fronds to have so many "blemishes". Did the plant have some sort of trauma what might have damaged its fronds?

Other than pretty small seedlings, I don't grow my staghorns in pots. I prefer to grow them as they do in nature, mounted. Keep in mind that these plants are epiphytes, and growing them terrestrially goes against their nature. That's just me, you understand. I also like the way their fronds drape off the mount. I have grown hundreds of staghorns, most of them the Platycerium bifurcatum (standard staghorn) and now the bifurcatum 'Netherlands' variety. Since you say yours is the "French Staghorn" aka "Silver Staghorn", you have the Platycerium lemoinei. I grow those as well as three other (rare) varities, Here are a few pictures of some of my mounted staghorns. The first two pictures show the "French Staghorn".


Thumb of 2015-12-19/drdawg/fd49aa Thumb of 2015-12-19/drdawg/3532ee Thumb of 2015-12-19/drdawg/0732cc

drdawg (Ken Ramsey) - Tropical Plants & More
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]www.tropicalplantsandmore.com[/url]
If God wanted me to touch my toes, he would have put them on my knees.
[Last edited by drdawg - Dec 20, 2015 3:59 PM (+)]
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Name: seaecho
Phelan, Ca. (Zone 8b)
There is ALWAYS room for one more p
Image
seaecho
Dec 20, 2015 12:57 AM CST
Your plants are beautiful! I am aware these plants like to be mounted, but I really don't have any plan as of now, and nowhere I can think of to put it either, if it were mounted. No, the fronds have had no damage--that really has me baffled why they look like that. I've had the lemoinei before, and it lived for a few years with no problems (treated the same way as this one) and died, unfortunately, of scale. I grieved over its loss, as it was a really nice little plant. And now this one, I can't seem to make happy!
Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]
Orchids Greenhouse Vegetable Grower Ferns Region: United States of America Hummingbirder
Composter Bromeliad Master Gardener: Mississippi Cat Lover Tropicals Plumerias
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drdawg
Dec 20, 2015 7:40 AM CST
@seaecho, since I have grown the lemoinei for only a year, I don't really know whether this variety is more temperamental than the bifurcatum. I have grown bifurcatum for 30 or more years and know that this variety is very undemanding. I do know that you have to be very careful when growing any of the staghorns in pots. Since they are not terrestrial plants, but are being grown as a terrestrial, they are not able to dry out very quickly and are getting a lot of nutrients that they may have trouble assimilating. If you must grow it in a pot, I would suggest that you at least open up the potting media with coarse perlite. I would use an equal volume of perlite as is the volume of potting soil.

Why don't you get another staghorn, but this time a bifurcatum (look for the Netherlands sub-variety) so that you can grow the two side-by-side? You'll then see which does better for you.

Speaking of mounting, you can virtually hang a mounted staghorn anywhere there is warmth and bright light. Depending on the mount, you can also sit the mounted plant on a counter, shelf, plant stand, etc., just like you do a potted plant. This is called growing them on a "raft". Natural cork makes a great mount and it can be either hung or used as a raft. Many other woods can be used equally well.

Like you, I am stumped why your plant's fronds look the way they do. I am sorry I couldn't be of more help.
drdawg (Ken Ramsey) - Tropical Plants & More
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]www.tropicalplantsandmore.com[/url]
If God wanted me to touch my toes, he would have put them on my knees.
Name: Lin
Florida (Zone 9b)
Region: United States of America Morning Glories Region: Florida Houseplants Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
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plantladylin
Dec 20, 2015 1:56 PM CST
@seaecho I agree with everything that drdawg/Ken has said; he grows a lot of staghorn ferns and he didn't mention it but he has a website where he sells plants (staghorns included) as well as wood mounts. http://www.tropicalplantsandmore.com/staghorns--mounts.html I can vouch for his plants and products because I am a customer.

Last year I had a small Staghorn (P. bifurcatum) that was in a pot and it didn't seem to do much at all growth wise and just didn't look great so I decided to buy a mount from Ken to which I tied the little stag. It has attached to the wood and grown like crazy with new basal fronds ... it has almost totally covered the wood slab as you can see in the photo below that I just took. Please ignore all the dog hair in the picture; our golden retriever likes to lay on that sofa on the screened porch! Green Grin!
Thumb of 2015-12-20/plantladylin/bc79f9

My eyes aren't the greatest but I'm wondering if perhaps your staghorn is being kept too wet? I think most Platycerium, including Silver Elkhorn Fern (Platycerium veitchii) and French Staghorn Fern (Platycerium veitchii 'Lemoinei') prefer to dry out between watering. I've read that the French Staghorn goes many months without water during droughts in it's native habitat of Australia.
~ Eat, Sleep .... Play in the dirt ~
Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]
Orchids Greenhouse Vegetable Grower Ferns Region: United States of America Hummingbirder
Composter Bromeliad Master Gardener: Mississippi Cat Lover Tropicals Plumerias
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drdawg
Dec 20, 2015 2:47 PM CST
I tip my hat to you.

That staghorn has really taken off and is growing into a magnificent specimen, Lin. You have done a good job. You might soon have to consider re-mounting it. Personally, I would hate to divide it because it is so symmetrical and nice-looking. A large, natural cork slab would be a good option. It is very lightweight and you can simply attach that mount/plant right to it without even disturbing the stag. I don't know whether you have a source of large cork mounts, but if you do, look for something in the range of 14"x20" and a bit thicker (1 1/2-2") than the average cork slab. Have the fronds started producing spore-plaques yet?

Even though it is really easy to over-water staghorns in potting media (one advantage of mounting), I still can't explain the way those fronds look.

By the way, and I bet you already knew this, staghorn ferns will literally tell you when they are getting "desperate" for water. The fronds will begin to wrinkle due to dehydration and if water is not supplied, those frond-tips will brown. In fact, lots of my plants will tell me: "Water me now!" Sticking tongue out
drdawg (Ken Ramsey) - Tropical Plants & More
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]www.tropicalplantsandmore.com[/url]
If God wanted me to touch my toes, he would have put them on my knees.
Name: seaecho
Phelan, Ca. (Zone 8b)
There is ALWAYS room for one more p
Image
seaecho
Dec 20, 2015 3:52 PM CST
The reason I don't have a bifuractum is because they get to freaking HUGE! I like the lemoinei is because the are so much smaller. Plantladylin, your stag also looks fantastic!

What happened was, I was letting it dry out like I did my other one I used to have. Well, it got droopy, so I watered it. But, over time, it's not seeming to make much difference whether it's watered more often or not. It still looks the same. I NEVER keep it wet, as I read, like you did, that they like to dry out more than other types of stags. It was send to me in spag peat moss. I am afraid of shocking it in mid winter, but maybe I can take it out of the pot, with the spag still attached (less shock) and put it on a cork cave I had for reptiles? This is the cork "cave" I have. Should I mount it on top, as in the first pic, or turn the cave over as in the second? Cave is 15 by nine inches.


Thumb of 2015-12-20/seaecho/90aac6


Thumb of 2015-12-20/seaecho/b98c69

Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]
Orchids Greenhouse Vegetable Grower Ferns Region: United States of America Hummingbirder
Composter Bromeliad Master Gardener: Mississippi Cat Lover Tropicals Plumerias
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drdawg
Dec 20, 2015 4:16 PM CST
I always mount my epiphytes on the "rough" side, @Seaecho. . I don't use "tubes" though. I purchase large, almost flat slabs and cut those slabs to order. You could use either side though. Thumbs up

The bifurcatum certainly will grow large, after 5 years or so, but the 'Neatherlands' tends to grow a bit slower and not get quite so large. That being said, you can always divide the pups off a bifurcatum to control the size. I have "harvested" many dozens of pups over the last 25 years. A five year old plants might have a half dozen pups and thus, you could end up with seven stand-alone plants, and do what you wish with them. I mount and repot staghorns all year long. They don't seem to care what season it is. Heck, I just mounted two today, a custom-order for cork mounting.

Having grown several hundred staghorn ferns, I have quite a bit of experience in growing them. It still puzzles me when I look at that first picture you posted. My thoughts that these were some sort of traumatic lesions got shot down, so I just don't know. Shrug!
drdawg (Ken Ramsey) - Tropical Plants & More
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]www.tropicalplantsandmore.com[/url]
If God wanted me to touch my toes, he would have put them on my knees.
Name: Lin
Florida (Zone 9b)
Region: United States of America Morning Glories Region: Florida Houseplants Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Garden Procrastinator Birds Butterflies Bee Lover Hummingbirder Container Gardener
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plantladylin
Dec 20, 2015 6:20 PM CST
Ken, I have no idea where I could find cork slabs around here; after the holidays I might order one from you if you have them in stock! LOL, I've never even checked for spore plaques ... didn't even know where to look so I googled. I'll have to go out tomorrow and look underneath the fronds. Green Grin!
~ Eat, Sleep .... Play in the dirt ~
Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]
Orchids Greenhouse Vegetable Grower Ferns Region: United States of America Hummingbirder
Composter Bromeliad Master Gardener: Mississippi Cat Lover Tropicals Plumerias
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drdawg
Dec 20, 2015 6:40 PM CST
I have plenty, Lin.
drdawg (Ken Ramsey) - Tropical Plants & More
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]www.tropicalplantsandmore.com[/url]
If God wanted me to touch my toes, he would have put them on my knees.
Name: seaecho
Phelan, Ca. (Zone 8b)
There is ALWAYS room for one more p
Image
seaecho
Dec 21, 2015 7:08 PM CST
Boy, if you've grown hundreds of stags, and never seen something like that, I'm speechless! I know for a fact it hasn't fallen, but we did have a mouse in the house a few months ago that we finally were able to exterminate. It chewed up a hoya that I'd rooted from a cutting, and the plant died. I was devastated. As far as I know, the mouse was never in the room where the stag is, but who knows? That could explain why it almost looks "chewed." Never thought of that until you brought my attention to the traumatic lesions. It sure didn't look like that when I received it. I hope it is able to overcome the trauma, wherever it came from.
Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]
Orchids Greenhouse Vegetable Grower Ferns Region: United States of America Hummingbirder
Composter Bromeliad Master Gardener: Mississippi Cat Lover Tropicals Plumerias
Image
drdawg
Dec 21, 2015 8:13 PM CST
Seaecho, the staghorn will probably be fine but those "lesions" will never go away. Ultimately, as the fern ages, these fronds will be naturally lost and you'll then have a pristine plant again. That might take a year or two though. I have had squirrels damage a few fronds over the years, and yes, what I see on yours is similar to the damage the squirrels did to mine. The mouse may be the answer to our question.
drdawg (Ken Ramsey) - Tropical Plants & More
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]www.tropicalplantsandmore.com[/url]
If God wanted me to touch my toes, he would have put them on my knees.
Name: seaecho
Phelan, Ca. (Zone 8b)
There is ALWAYS room for one more p
Image
seaecho
Dec 23, 2015 4:49 PM CST
Yeah, I figured it must have been the mouse, in reflecting about it. I do expect to lose those fronds, and won't be upset, because it's getting new growth and the "shield" is new too. So I'm hoping it'll be healthy after it gets through this "trauma." Poor plant. Those damaged fronds are much softer than the other growth so I know they will eventually come off. I'll just leave them for now.
Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]
Orchids Greenhouse Vegetable Grower Ferns Region: United States of America Hummingbirder
Composter Bromeliad Master Gardener: Mississippi Cat Lover Tropicals Plumerias
Image
drdawg
Dec 23, 2015 5:01 PM CST
Basal frond growth is a good sign as well as new reproductive frond growth. I would leave those damaged fronds and just let them shed naturally. They are still vegetative, supplying nutrients to the stag.
drdawg (Ken Ramsey) - Tropical Plants & More
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]www.tropicalplantsandmore.com[/url]
If God wanted me to touch my toes, he would have put them on my knees.

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